Thursday, 6 November 2014

In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt), by Edvard Grieg


Peer Gynt, Op. 23 is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play of the same name, written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo).
Later, in 1888 and 1891, Grieg extracted eight movements to make two four-movement suites: Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and Suite No. 2, Op. 55. Some of these movements have received coverage in popular culture; see Grieg's music in popular culture.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Rain, by Joe Hisaishi


From Wikipedia:

Mamoru Fujisawa, born December 6, 1950, known professionally as Joe Hisaishi, is a composer and musical director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.

While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and conductor.

He is best known for his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Bagatelle No.25 in A minor WoO.59 (a.k.a. Fur Elise), by Ludwig van Beethoven



From Wikipedia:

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59 and Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" or "Fuer Elise" (English: "For Elise", commonly misspelled "Fur Elise"), is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions. It is usually classified as a bagatelle, but it is also sometimes referred to as an Albumblatt.

The score was not published until 1867, 40 years after the composer's death in 1827. The discoverer of the piece, Ludwig Nohl, affirmed that the original autographed manuscript, now lost, was dated 27 April 1810.

Arturo Márquez: Conga del Fuego conducted by Gustavo Dudamel


Great music, even though I like Danzon No. 2 by the same composer better.


Friday, 4 April 2014

Carnival of the Animals: 13 - Le Cygne (The Swan), by Camille Saint-Saëns


According to Wikipedia:

The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux) is a humorous musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Written for private performance by an ad hoc ensemble of two pianos and other instruments, the work lasts around 25 minutes.


See also: Aquarium

Monday, 10 March 2014

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K.467 - Andante, by Mozart


From Wikipedia:

The Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, was completed on March 9, 1785 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, four weeks after the completion of the previous D minor concerto, K. 466.

The concerto has three movements:
1. Allegro maestoso; in common time. The tempo marking is in Mozart's catalog of his own works, but not in the autograph manuscript.
2. Andante in F major. In both the autograph score and in his personal catalog, Mozart notated the meter as Alla breve.
3. Allegro vivace assai

The opening movement begins quietly with a march figure, but quickly moves to a more lyrical melody interspersed with a fanfare in the winds. The music grows abruptly in volume, with the violins taking up the principal melody over the march theme, which is now played by the brass. This uplifting theme transitions to a brief, quieter interlude distinguished by a sighing motif in the brass. The march returns, eventually transitioning to the entrance of the soloist. The soloist plays a brief Eingang (a type of abbreviated Cadenza) before resolving to a trill on the dominant G while the strings play the march in C major. The piano then introduces new material in C major and begins transitioning to the dominant key of G major. Immediately after an orchestral cadence finally announces the arrival of the dominant, the music abruptly shifts to G minor in a passage that is reminiscent of the main theme of the Symphony No. 40 in that key. A series of rising and falling chromatic scales then transition the music to the true second theme of the piece, an ebullient G major theme which Mozart had previously used in his Third Horn Concerto. The usual development and recapitulation follow. There is a cadenza at the end of the movement, although Mozart's original has been lost.

The famous Andante is in three parts. The opening section is for orchestra only and features muted strings. The first violins play with a dreamlike melody over an accompaniment consisting of second violins and violas playing repeated-note triplets and the cellos and bass playing pizzicato arpeggios. All of the major melodic material of the movement is contained in this orchestral introduction, in either F major or F minor. The second section introduces the solo piano and starts off in F major. It is not a literal repeat, though, as after the first few phrases, new material is interjected which ventures off into different keys. When familiar material returns, the music is now in the dominant keys of C minor and C major. More new material in distant keys is added, which transitions to the third section of the movement. The third section begins with the dreamlike melody again, but this time in A-flat major. Over the course of this final section, the music makes it way back to the tonic keys of F minor and then F major and a short coda concludes the movement.

The final rondo movement begins with the full orchestra espousing a joyous "jumping" theme. After a short cadenza, the piano joins in and further elaborates. A "call and response" style is apparent, with the piano and ensemble exchanging parts fluidly. The soloist gets scale and arpeggio figurations that enhance the themes, as well as a short cadenza that leads right back to the main theme. The main theme appears one final time, leading to an upward rush of scales that ends on a triumphant note.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Adagio in G minor, by Tomaso Albinoni and


From Wikipedia:

The Adagio in G minor for violin, strings and organ continuo, is a neo-Baroque composition popularly attributed to the 18th-century Venetian master Tomaso Albinoni, but composed by the 20th-century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto and based on the purported discovery of a manuscript fragment from Albinoni.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

August : Osage County - End Credits


From Wikipedia:

August: Osage County is a 2013 American black comedy-drama film written by Tracy Letts and based on his Pulitzer Prize–winning play by the same name. The film is directed by John Wells and produced by George Clooney, Jean Doumanian, Grant Heslov, Steve Traxler, and Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

The ensemble cast is led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, with Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, and Benedict Cumberbatch in other lead roles. The film was a modest success and received mixed reviews from critics, with much praise given to its cast, especially to Streep and Roberts who received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

The Book Thief - Learning to Write



From Wikipedia:

The Book Thief is a 2013 American-German war drama film based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak, directed by Brian Percival and written by Michael Petroni, with a musical score composed by John Williams. The film stars Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, and Joachim Paul Assböck.

Saving Mr. Banks - End Title


From Wikipedia:

Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 American-Australian-British biographical comedy-drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios film Mary Poppins, the film stars Emma Thompson as author P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks as filmmaker Walt Disney, with supporting performances from Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B. J. Novak, and Colin Farrell. Named after the father in Travers' story, the film depicts the author's fortnight-long briefing in 1961 Los Angeles as she is pursued by Disney, in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novels.

Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and BBC Films, Saving Mr. Banks was shot entirely in the Southern California area, primarily at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, where a majority of the film's narrative takes place. The film was released theatrically in the U.K. on November 29, 2013, and in the United States on December 13, 2013, where it was met with positive reviews, with praise directed towards the acting, screenplay, and production merits—Thompson received BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, and Critic's Choice Award nominations for Best Actress, while Thomas Newman's film score, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. The film was also a box office success, grossing $100 million worldwide against a $35 million budget.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Polovtsian Dances, by Borodin


From Wikipedia:

The Polovtsian Dances (or Polovetsian Dances) (Russian: Половецкие пляски, Polovetskie plyaski from the Russian name of the Turkic Polovtsy people) form an exotic scene in Alexander Borodin's long opera Prince Igor.

The work remained unfinished when the composer died in 1887, although he had worked on it for more than a decade. A performing version was prepared by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov, appearing in 1890. Several other versions, or "completions," of the opera have been made. The dances are performed with chorus and last between 11 and 14 minutes. They occur in Act I or Act II, depending on which version of the opera is being used. Their music is popular and sometimes given in concert. At such performances the choral parts are often omitted. The opera also has a "Polovtsian March," which opens Act III, and an overture at the start. When the dances are given in concert, a suite may be formed: Overture, Polovtsian Dances and March from "Prince Igor."


Opera version below: